Plotter Control (obsolete)

lw - laser writer graphical output (or HP pen plotter)


h.lw(file, device)



h.lw(file, device) opens a file to keep a copy of subsequent plots (file is a string variable or a name enclosed in double quotes). All graphs which are generated on the screen are saved in this file in a format given by the integer value of the device argument.

device =1
Hewlett Packard pen plotter style.
device =2
Fig style (Fig is a public domain graphics program available on the SUN computer). The filter f2ps translates fig to postscript.
device =3
Codraw style. Files in this style can be read into the PC program, CODRAW. The file should be opened with the extension, .DRA.

Lw keeps copying every plot to the screen until the file is closed with the command, h.lw(). Note that erasing the screen with h.plt(-3) or a Control-e will throw away whatever is in the file and restart the file at the beginning. Therefore, lw keeps an accurate representation of the current graphic status of the screen.

After setting the device once, it remains the same unless changed again by another call with two arguments. The default device is 2.


Suppose an HP plotter is connected to serial port, COM1:. Then the following procedure will plot whatever graphics information happens to be on the screen (not normal text).

from neuron import h, gui
import os

# function for hp style plotter
def hp():
    os.system("cp temp com1:")

h.lw("temp", 1)

Notice that the above procedure closes a file, prints it, and then re-opens temp. The initial direct command makes sure the file is open the first time hp is called.


It is often necessary to end all the plotting with a h.plt(-1) command before closing the file to ensure that the last line drawing is properly terminated.

In our hands the the HP plotter works well at 9600 BAUD and with the line \verb+MODE COM1:9600,,,,P+ in the autoexec.bat file.

See also

plot(), graph(), plt()